Author Archives

Organ For the Senses

October 15, 2017
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Organ For the Senses

NOW AVAILABLE

high quality vinyl pressing from Marginal Frequency, original artwork by Marina Grize and Kate Clark. Limited to 300 units.

A1:
Secular Reason (10:39)
by Michael Pisaro (2016)
Organist: Justin Murphy-Mancini

A2:
An Inside-out Map of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (09:48)
by Samuel Dunscombe (2016)
Organist: Justin Murphy-Mancini

B1:
Face South Toward the Storm (12:03)
by Steven Andrew Flato (2016)
Organist: Jared C. Jacobsen

B2:
Artificial Horizons (07:23)
by Celeste Oram, Wen Liu, Johannes Regnier
Organist: Jared C. Jacobsen
Vocalist: Mary Glen Fredrick


Creative Direction: Kate Clark
Music Direction and Concert Recording: Samuel Dunscombe
Organ Curator: Dale Sorensen
Audio Production: Nick Lesley

Album Design: Marina Grize
Drawing: Kate Clark

Production Support:
Max Nanis
Ross Porter
Spreckels Organ Society

Mixing Engineer: Samuel Dunscombe
Mastering Engineer: Alan F. Jones

When it was installed in 1915, the Spreckels Organ was the avant garde of public concert space. It was commissioned as a centerpiece to the California-Panama exposition, which both celebrated the newly completed Panama Canal and welcomed the new wave of merchant and tourist traffic that the canal was about to bring to early 20th century San Diego. 100 years on, the Spreckels Organ is still an instrument capable of achieving its core goal of evoking feelings of great excitement and awe for those lucky enough to see and hear it in action.  It is also an instrument capable of creating an astonishingly powerful array of new and exciting sounds, a territory that currently remains largely unexplored, and a territory that expands as the organ itself continues to grow in physical size (a recent upgrade now sees this instrument with over 5,000 individual pipes).

In 2016, San Diego’s Parkeology director Kate Clark and composer Samuel Dunscombe began brainstorming as to how this massive instrument’s potential might be further uncovered, planning a concert that would highlight qualities that hadn’t been explored. These discussions resulted in the Parkeology event, Organ For the Senses, sonically archived here. Local and regional experimental composers were invited to develop works with the aim to explore all acoustic and physical aspects of the organto shine a light on the old to reveal something new.  Michael Pisaro’s “Secular Reason” takes as its mission to reveal the full dynamic and timbral range of the instrument’s 5,017 pipes – from ground rattling full-spectrum fortissimi to the extreme delicacy of a single flute stop – while Dunscombe’s work “An Inside-Out Map of the Spreckels Organ” aims to reveal the deepest inner working of the instrument by taking pan-perspectival field recordings from deep within its bowels. Steve Flato’s “Face South Toward the Storm,” which draws inspiration from the 100 years of recurrent weather patterns an outdoor instrument such as this must inevitably face, speaks to the organ’s endurance as a physical structure, augmenting the organ’s acoustic sound with live electronics to create a rich fog.  And “Artificial Horizons” (Liu, Oram, Regnier) zooms out to show us the organs place within the larger space of Balboa Park, with a particular emphasis on the flight path that runs directly above it.

releases October 31, 2017
all music by Dunscombe, Flato, Liu, Oram, Pisaro, and Regnier

Dedicated to Craig Johnson

Secular Reason (excerpt)

An Inside-out Map Of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (excerpt)

Face South Toward the Storm (excerpt)

Artificial Horizons (excerpt)


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Joda Clément & Mathieu Ruhlmann – Kindred

October 1, 2017
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Joda Clément & Mathieu Ruhlmann | Kindred

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high quality chrome, magnetic tape release from Marginal Frequency, original artwork by Mathieu Ruhlmann. Limited to 100 units.

A1. Taking Tiger Mountain (version)*
A2. Against What Light

B1. between regions of partial shadow and complete illumination

Joda Clément – analog synthesizer, field recordings, electromagnetic feedback, treatments
Mathieu Ruhlmann – objects, oscillators, shruti box, amplified objects, field recordings, reel to reel, ukelin

guests on “Taking Tiger Mountain”:
Cristián Alvear – guitar
Gregory Moskos – piano
Alexandra Spence – Clarinet
Tim Clément – tape loops
Judith Hamann – cello, voice
A.F. Jones – lap steel, voice

*written by Brian Eno; concept and arrangement by Joda Clément & Mathieu Ruhlmann

releases October 17, 2017
all music by Joda Clément and Mathieu Ruhlmann

Mixed by Joda Clément
Mastered by A.F. Jones at Laminal Audio

Design: Mathieu Ruhlmann

C48, edition of 100

against what light (excerpt)


between regions of partial shadow and complete illumination (excerpt)
 

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fraufraulein – heavy objects

October 1, 2017
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fraufraulein | heavy objects

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high quality chrome, magnetic tape release from Marginal Frequency, original artwork by fraufraulein. fraufraulein are Billy Gomberg and Anne Guthrie (Brooklyn). Limited to 100 units.

Side A: one of us always tells the truth
Side B: when we evaporate

releases October 17, 2017
all music by Billy Gomberg and Anne Guthrie

Produced and engineered by Billy Gomberg and Anne Guthrie
Mastered by A.F. Jones at Laminal Audio

design/layout: fraufraulein

C36, edition of 100

 

one of us always tells the truth (excerpt)


when we evaporate (excerpt)
 

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Andrea Borghi – Sostrato

July 18, 2017
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Andrea Borghi | Sostrato

borghi SOSTRATO

1. Sostrato (20’00”)

 

Andrea Borghi (b.1974) is an art teacher, sound artist and electroacoustic composer based in Pietrasanta, Lucca (Tuscany, Italy).

In his work, he explores the relationships between physical material substrates and sound production.

As a music publisher, he runs the disk publishing label «  Liscarecords ». He is also a founding member of the electronic improvisation group « Quartet Vipcancro ».

In recent years, his work has been focusing on experimentations with a number of different materials from which to create sound in a series called “Discomateria”. Using a variety of different mediums such as glass, plastic, metal, and more recently, marble, as the primary resource for sound production.

Discomateria #24, the source work for Sostrato, makes materials audible through electroacoustic transduction, and processes sound produced by the surfaces within the stage setting. The music producing instrument is a prepared pickup and turntable built by the artist. “Discomateria” is additionally a growing corpus of graphic/sculptural works of art.

Recorded by Andrea Borghi (prepared turntable, speaker, objects)
Mastered by A.F. Jones at Laminal Audio
Photography by Silvio Pennesi

edition of 50

sostrato3

Sostrato excerpt 
Packaging has dimensions which exceed that of CD or cassette media units.
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Kieran Daly / Sam Sfirri – Derrison

May 17, 2017
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Kieran Daly / Sam Sfirri | Derrison

NOW AVAILABLE

After over a decade of collaboration — running the gamut from downcore improv-lounge to conceptual field recording and non-performance to depressive MIDI jazz-fiction — Derrison marks the first official release by idiosyncratic musicians and composers Kieran Daly and Sam Sfirri. Presenting their statically fragmentary, diffident, and obtuse approach to ‘interpretation’, Daly and Sfirri perform twelve counterfactual improvisations derived from the jazz standard repertoire and offer a novel contribution to the recorded ‘guitar and piano duo’ tradition of Evans & Hall, Frisell & Hersch, Holdsworth & Beck, Metheny & Mehldau, and others.

A1. Out Of Nowhere (for Johnny Green)
A2. Vashkar (tk. 1) (for Carla Bley)
A3. Ice Cream Konitz (for Lee Konitz)
A4. Wow (tk. 1) (for Lennie Tristano)
A5. Wow (tk. 2) (for Lennie Tristano)

B1. Cherokee (for Ray Noble)
B2. Palo Alto (for Lee Konitz)
B3. All the Things You Are (for Jerome Kern)
B4. Bright Size Life (for Pat Metheny)
B5. Crosscurrent (for Lennie Tristano)
B6. Solar (for Miles Davis)
B7. Vashkar (tk. 2) (for Carla Bley)

releases May 23, 2017

all music by Kieran Daly and Sam Sfirri

Recorded July 16, 2016
Recital Hall, Simon’s Center for the Arts at College of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina

Produced and engineered by Kieran Daly and Sam Sfirri
Mastered by A.F. Jones at Laminal Audio
Cover Art by Daly/Sfirri, design/layout by Jones

C60, edition of 50

MFCS Derrison inner

B3. All the Things You Are (for JK) 
B5. Crosscurrent (for LT) 

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Digital album: $4.00

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Catriel Nievas / Joe Wheeler – balance

March 8, 2017
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Catriel Nievas / Joe Wheeler | balance

balance cover

Catriel: “My records are raw recordings of unfinished travels, periods of time when nothing seems to happen, my home is completely empty, the sound of a waving hand of a lucky cat in the living room. A time of change from one state to another mediated by sound, perhaps some balance between what I was and what I am.”

Joe: “Most of the recordings I took happened locally in Cedarville, Ohio, in my backyard, my house, or around town. During August the cicadas where pretty animated, and they are heard throughout the album. I took a trip to visit my Grandma in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the middle of working on the album and I used recordings I took there in the track “guitarra – outside at 9PM” most notably. In “Outro” I used a recording I took of my dad putting flooring into our living room.

Less specifically, my desire for this recording was to capture really whatever was in front of me at the right time.”

This is the first collaboration between Nievas and Wheeler, and Marginal Frequency is proud to make it available to you.

composed and recorded by Nievas/Wheeler
Recording locations: Ohio, Tennessee, Argentina

Mastered by A.F. Jones, San Diego, CA

Cover Art by Joe Wheeler, design/layout by Jones

C45 on high quality chrome, edition of 50

0010 [excerpt]
BANO [excerpt]
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Clara de Asís / Bruno Duplant – L’inertie

March 8, 2017
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Clara de Asís / Bruno Duplant | L’inertie

L'inertie cover

Clara de Asís: Spanish composer and experimental guitarist based in France. Her works involve electroacoustic, improvised music and studio composition. She uses different combinations of materials and sound sources, with a main focus on electric guitar. She has developed a non-conventional and personal instrumental approach; with longstanding interest in minimalist frameworks, spacial auscultation and temporal suspension.

Bruno Duplant: composer, sound manipulator, and multi-instrumentalist based in the north of France, whose primary instruments include the doublebass, percussion, organ, electronics, and field recordings. Time and Space are concepts, entities, and materials for Duplant to approach with a certain nostalgia and poetry, and he is a frequent collaborator with a wide range of musicians from around the globe.

These recordings feature Clara and Bruno predominantly on guitar and organ, respectively, and in unison.

composed and recorded by de Asís/Duplant
recording locations: Paris, France

Mastered by A.F. Jones, San Diego, CA

Artwork and imagery by Clara and Bruno, design/layout by Jones

C45 on high quality chrome, edition of 50

La paresse [excerpt]
La lenteur [excerpt]

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Erik Carlson – Piece for 12 Violins (Parts 1 & 2)

October 5, 2016
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Erik Carlson | Piece for 12 Violins (Parts 1 & 2)

12v

The first time I saw Erik perform, I was immediately struck by the clarity he projected, the crystalline nature of his ideas and how immediately perceptible they are to the listener.  As I became more familiar with his output, both his own compositions and his performances of the works of others, I quickly realized this integrity was present in all of his endeavors – from works that necessitate perspicuity, like those of total serialist Milton Babbitt or the vulnerable austerity in the compositions of Catherine Lamb, to those that exploit relations between seemingly contradictory or incompatible techniques, both physical, as in Brian Ferneyhough’s ‘Unsichtbare Farben’, which, like much of Ferneyhough’s work, pushes the limits of the relationship between technical complexity and expressivity – and aesthetic – as in Erik’s own composition ‘At C’, which takes Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde and erases Wagner’s dense and chromatic writing, leaving only middle C.  Even in cases that air towards the latter category, Erik consistently creates a vivid sonic space that allows one to entirely immerse themselves in the expanse that connects the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of a piece.  That is to say, one becomes immediately aware that there is a logic underpinning the sounds emanating from Erik and the listener is persuaded to allow the piece to work on their ears in its own time, rather than demanding an actively critical listening that constantly requires the performer to justify the piece’s existence through their interpretation.  The interpreter’s task becomes that of transparency and self-removal, to be a conduit of the piece rather than its salesperson.  

Music for 12 Violins, Parts I+II is a testament to Erik’s ability to render music that is simultaneously pervaded by both simplicity and depth, both equally palpable and refined.  Dense clusters of precisely tuned intervals circle each other, carefully stepping from one to the next on a path that grows increasingly familiar but never registers as rote or repetitive.  The careful construction of each harmony yields a vivid superstratum of acoustic phenomena that allows the ear to traverse the composite texture by both climbing the verticalities of the harmonic movement and submerging one’s conscious thought deep into the kaleidoscopic complexion.  Part I features tightly knit dissonance resulting in acoustic beating that purrs, concomitantly massaging your cochlea and stimulating your cerebellum.  Part II immediately strikes the ear as containing more open sonorities (relatively speaking), trading the rapid acoustic beating of Part I for a slower warble and a more variegated texture.  I encourage the listener to listen to both sides in succession so that they can properly register the scale of the transformation that occurs between both parts.

Often left out of the picture in the traditional composer/interpreter paradigm is the recording engineer’s role – one that Erik has made an integral part of his work.  The ability to approach each component individually allows him to focus his energy on realizing every part with precision that is perhaps unrealistic for the scope of a live performance.  Through this, Erik is able to come within spitting distance of some kind of ideal that could perhaps be thought of as the locus where the work’s identity resides.

~Tyler J. Borden

Written, performed, and recorded by Erik Carlson
Recorded at the Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, UCSD, September 2016
Mastered by A.F. Jones at Laminal Audio
Cover Art by Ellie Moser
C60 on high quality chrome

review: The Hum


MFCS.C – Erik Carlson – Piece for 12 Violins (Parts 1 & 2) (edition of 80)

Part 2 [excerpt]

 12v-jcard

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Jacob Wick – Twice Love

August 12, 2016
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Jacob Wick | Twice Love

jacob wick cassettes

Teotihuacán to the east. Nopales.

I met Jacob on the stairs of the Rotunda in Philadelphia and much later we shared a house concert on a floor in Baltimore. Later the tunnels in Guanajuato, and the strong gasping of a goat hide bagpipe.

Napoles. Sine tones and sandwiches. Open windows. Your waist always moves just so slightly in the chair when you straighten your back to circular breathe. Pivoting sometimes, an echolocation.

Objects have secrets. Material stresses, past corollaries, brass arteries, spiny waveforms, all the fleshy tangible messes. It makes sense that we always discover new stars, new species of cochineals, pink dryer lint in the corners of our pockets, trying so hard as we are to be captured by them. Trying so hard as we are to be captured out of time and into space.

I’ve been thinking a lot about it: music’s generosity in its invitation to the body to participate as a sounding medium. Calling and threading vibrations, constellations holding hands. If we make music as song and space condensed into architectural finials and Los Angeles spring times. I imagine — when we listen — as we lean in closer to our objects, necks lengthening, the ear finds a smoother and quicker path towards the heart through our throats. Movement in our torsos as internal as frequencies on midnight lake water. We wouldn’t mind if we were pulled towards the trees on the other bank, rocked horizontally towards the center, our bodies are things as boats become things. Carrier and container – smoother vessels.

Bonnie Jones, August 2016


SIDE A recorded January 2016 at the wulf., Los Angeles, CA (Wick – trumpet | Christian Weber – contrabass)

SIDE B recorded January 2016 at Bread & Salt, San Diego, CA (Wick – trumpet | Casey Anderson – soprano saxophone, electronics)

special thanks to Ethan Tripp for design and layout QA

Wick J Card

MFCS.B – Jacob Wick – Twice Love (edition of 75)

with Casey Anderson at Bread & Salt [excerpt]
with Christian Weber at the wulf. [excerpt]

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Starvation Time – House of Dust

August 12, 2016
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Starvation Time | House of Dust

House of Dust is a product of shitty business practices that sometimes complicate independent and DIY music communities.

But it is more importantly a product of friendship, an innate desire to create, and perhaps of accidental genius. That’s the way I hear it, and how I experienced it from a close distance.

When Jeff Williams was living here in San Diego, I remember him talking about wanting to be in a band. He’d been a bedroom guitarist for years, but had never really “done anything.” It was inevitable that he and our mutual friend Steve Flato would get together and brainstorm the how of it. I had the sense that Steve — who would default into just about every role of production and management of the project in the writing and recording phase for House of Dust, aside from Jeff’s sometime panicked, other times whispered lyrics-to-voice process — was less than fully excited about it. While Steve is extremely comfortable with the process of discovering new territory in his own music, he can be flinchy or reserved with idealized material that enters from unexpected angles.

I wasn’t present for the discussions that took place between Jeff and Steve. I know that there were specific elements, many of which were introduced as the overall concept for their band, that came from Jeff. There would be beats. Loops, guitar. A processed bass undercarriage. And electronics. Lots of electronics. And, of course, Jeff’s fully personal way about lyrics, and his own vox.

I remember hearing the first rough takes of a couple of tracks. Steve was in every way undecided. Unsure. But he knew that, as the de facto composer of the music, he had made ‘real songs’. And there was sincere satisfaction in that for him. I remember telling him to go with it, that he has hit on something strong, and Steve expressed a characteristic brief hesitation followed by full confidence. “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, I think. More later.”

Steve and I have worked together many times in the production phases of his music, and I was asked to master this work for Starvation Time, and for consultation on the mixes. We worked on some things in my studio, and I took my normal forensic approach after a few listens to each track to get to the business of readying the music for others. As it often happens, it was only in the final phases that I was able to divorce myself from the work as an engineer, and listen to the final product as an aesthete.

Completely knocked out, me. Their work ruled. RULED. Jeff may have cried. I don’t doubt it. And Steve did not know what he had on his hands at the end of it, as I told him. It was, to give you a sense of my immediate impression, and without pigeonholing here, the most unwitting, tangential, and accidental homage to the Damon Edge years of Chrome, by a couple of guys who’d never heard them.

But like I said, it was much more than that. As a musician myself, the most rewarding part of engaging in music is the process itself. The assemblage of ideas, auditioning some of them, rejecting others. And the joy that comes with hearing and stumbling on something in your own work that sticks, when you’d never think it could have adhered to anything at all.

The end of this story is that Starvation Time’s music was picked up, only to sit in production hell for far longer than it should have. Unanswered emails, hazy deadlines missed, time and again, no explanation offered. It was unfair and frustrating. Several months lapsed, I told Steve to give it a few more weeks, keep their fingers crossed. And if no joy, I’d release it myself because I’ve always wanted to experience managing a label and I imagined myself completely happy and stimulated if this chain of accidents would be what tipped me over the edge.

House of Dust is, for me, a moment in time that fully captures that artistic process that I described. I will always hear it in that state, which is the state of its own birth. And Marginal Frequency is a byproduct for which I am grateful.

~ AJ

MFCSA

MFCS.A – Starvation Time – House of Dust (edition of 70)

Bone Seeker [excerpt]
You Must Have Had Another Bad Dream [excerpt]
$9.00 (post paid in the US)
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